When Golden State blew out the Spurs in San Antonio sans star forward Kevin Durant earlier this month, fans revisited a narrative from last season when Durant missed 19 games due to an MCL sprain: the Warriors would be just fine without KD.
This narrative proved true, as the Warriors secured a No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Durant’s value on the team was reaffirmed in his regular season and solidified in the playoffs, when Durant earned a Finals MVP after the Warriors clinched a 4-1 win against the Cavaliers at Oracle.
Monday night, the Warriors face the Orlando Magic with another star player out after Stephen Curry suffered a right thigh contusion similar to Durant’s in the early minutes of Saturday’s 135-114 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Though Curry returned after receiving treatment, he seemed visibly uncomfortable in post-game interviews, limping up to the podium and constantly readjusting to avoid what seemed to be discomfort:
“KD passed off that contusion to me. Same exact situation just trying to come off a screen and got kneed in the thigh. I’m sure it’s going to hurt tomorrow, but hopefully I’ll be alright.”
Curry was noticeable absent at shootaround Monday at the Rakuten Performance Center in Oakland. Keeping Curry out of Monday night’s game wouldn’t be a surprise, with an already strong bench that has held its own with 104 combined points over the last two games.
The recall of G-League point guard Quinn Cook and center Damian Jones give Kerr additional options, and the Warriors can expect extra minutes from Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Livingston seemed unfazed at shootaround earlier in the day:
“I’m pretty much always ready to go. Steph’s obviously a little bit different, what he brings to the team is different, probably than any other player in this league. It might change our game a little bit, but at the same time it’s still about committing as a team.”
Quinn understands flip-flopping between Santa Cruz and the Warriors bench, saying he remains ready for whatever situation is thrown at him:
“We kind of have the same principles, we have the same offense, so it’s pretty easy for me to keep going back up and down because we’re doing the same things.”